Speaker Bios

Speaker Biographies: 24th Annual Women’s History Conference: Gender & the Covid Crisis 


Dr. C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D.

President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Recently named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Having stepped into the role in November 2019, Dr. Mason is the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside-the-Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so. She succeeded noted economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, the Institute’s founding CEO.


As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Dr. C. Nicole Mason brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For the past two decades, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color; and racial equity. Prior to IWPR, Dr. Mason was the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the nation’s only research and policy center focused on women of color at a nationally ranked school of public administration. She is also an inaugural Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

At the start of the pandemic, she coined the term she-cession to describe the disproportionate impact of the employment and income losses on women. Dr. Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on women, poverty, and economic security. Her writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, the Progressive, ESSENCE, Bustle, BIG THINK, Miami Herald, Democracy Now, and numerous NPR affiliates, among others.

Priscilla Murolo

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. MA, PhD, Yale University

Special interest in US labor, women’s, and social history; author, The Common Ground of Womanhood: Class, Gender, and Working Girls’ Clubs; co-author, From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States; contributor to various encyclopedias and anthologies and to educational projects sponsored by labor and community organizations; reviewer for Journal of American History, Journal of Urban History, International Labor and Working Class History, and other historical journals; contributor and editorial associate, Radical History Review; recipient of Hewlett-Mellon grants. SLC, 1988–

Mary Reynolds MA '97

In 1997, shortly after Mary earned a Master’s Degree from the Women’s History Graduate Program, Priscilla Murolo appointed her as the program’s Associate Director. Over the next four years Mary helped launch the annual Women’s History Conference, inaugurated lecture series and workshops, and taught the graduate students’ Thesis Workshop.  

Mary left SLC in 2001 to enter Yale’s doctoral program in American Studies (she later returned to SLC in 2007 to teach a year-long graduate seminar while Priscilla was on leave). As a Ph.D. student, she joined the labor movement, serving as President of Yale’s graduate teachers’ union, and leading strikes by academic workers at Yale and N.Y.U.. 

Mary withdrew from Yale in 2007 to work full-time with UNITE HERE as a union organizer. For the next decade, she led organizing and electoral campaigns alongside graduate teachers, hospitality workers, and community members in New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, Vancouver, and other U.S. and Canadian cities. In 2012, she also became the founding Executive Director of New Haven Works, a collaborative mission—between unions, city government, employers, and Yale—that matches New Haven residents with local job opportunities. 

She returned to doctoral research after moving to England with her family in 2015. In 2021 she completed her dissertation, “Red Lives: Grassroots Radicalism and Visionary Organizing in the American Century,” and received her Ph.D. with distinction last June. Priscilla was a member of her committee.

Mary is currently a Visiting Scholar at the J.F.K. Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin. She also serves as a Research and Strategy Consultant for the Reflective Democracy Campaign, an organization that produces data and analysis on race and gender demographics in American electoral politics, social movements, and economic structures. 

An Li

Economics Faculty, Sarah Lawrence College

An Li teaches economics at Sarah Lawrence College. His research and teaching interests span the political economy of the environment, with a focus on environmental injustice and its impact on people's welfare.

About the Presentation: Gender and the Social Determinants of Health

This presentation explores how gender inequality leads to higher health risks for women, and how empowering women can translate into better health and environmental policies.

Dr. Kishauna Soljour

Public Humanities Fellow and History faculty, Sarah Lawrence College

Dr. Kishauna Soljour is a historian, public humanities scholar and curator. She is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Public Humanities Fellow. In this role, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Sarah Lawrence College and develops public programming at the Yonkers Public Library. Her research highlights the importance of oral history, community narratives and popular cultural as well as artistic expressions of identity. 

About the Presentation: The Impact of Redlining on Women's Health and the Community

This presentation will discuss how redlining and similar policies affect health outcomes in local communities, and how women are both impacted by, and respond to, these policies.

Wilfredo Morel

Vice President of Immigrant Health at Sun River Health 

Wifredo is a highly acclaimed artist known for his sculptures utilizing recycled materials, related to the communities where materials are found. Wilfredo is also known for his work as a health professional at Hudson River Health Care. It is by no accident that his art and health care work complement each other and influence each other. He is committed to using his art as a force to build a healthy, stronger community.

Aspen Ruhlin

Client Advocate from the Mabel Wadsworth Center

Aspen Ruhlin (they/them) is the Client and Community Advocate at Mabel Wadsworth Center in Wabanaki territory, also known as Bangor, Maine. In their role, they often work directly with transgender clients to support them in accessing gender-affirming care, particularly gender-affirming surgeries. Outside of directly supporting clients, Aspen's work is focused on the intersections of trans health and abortion access. When not at Mabel's, they enjoy embroidery and gardening, and were recently certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer.

Dr. Sarah Horvath

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Women's Health, Penn State University

Sarah Horvath, MD MSHP, FACOG is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State University, where she leads Family Planning care and training.  Previously, she was the inaugural Darney/Landy Fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). During that time, she developed training materials for the IMPACT Program at ACOG, served as a PCAI Program trainer, a liaison to other health care organizations, and a Family Planning content expert for advocacy, policy, and educational activities.  She completed her Fellowship in Family Planning and Master of Science in Health Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018.  Prior to that, she completed Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and medical school at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.  She hopes to have a long career in research, education, and advocacy for improving access to comprehensive reproductive health care for all.

Denisha Jones

Director, Art of Teaching Program, Sarah Lawrence College

Denisha Jones is the Director of the Art of Teaching Program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her first co-edited book, Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice, was published in December 2020 by Haymarket Books.


Laura Holford, RN (she/hers)

Laura Holford, RN MSN, is an oncology nurse, nursing educator, and patient advocate committed to working to reduce nursing burnout and moral distress, and the reassembly of responsibility and accountability in healthcare.

Jacqui Orie

 We Dream in Black Organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance

Jacqui Orie is the New York, We Dream in Black Organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.  She is originally from Saint Lucia where she worked for the Attorney General.  She currently lives in Yonkers, New York. Jacqui was a Professional Nanny for over 20 years  in the United States, and has been passionate about shaping the lives of young children. Jacqui became passionate about domestic workers rights because of her own challenges in the workplace where she had to work with no contract, no lunch breaks, and no overtime pay for working extra hours. In 2018, Jacqui completed the Groundbreakers Program at NDWA to become a trained organizer and educator, supporting domestic workers with workplace violations through outreach, and know-your-rights training. Jacqui is passionate about raising the standards and advocating for care workers.


Andrea McCue

New York State United Teachers

Andrea has been honored to serve as President of the Haldane Faculty Association since 2015. In addition to being a member of NYSUT Women’s steering committee, Andrea proudly represents NYSUT as a National Educators Association state delegate and American Federation of Teachers state delegate alternate.